Trudeaus show­ered with de­signer gifts

NDP: Presents ‘prob­lem­atic’

Edmonton Sun - - NEWS - TERESA Wright

OT­TAWA — A pair of Rayban sun­glasses. A lim­ited edi­tion, painted leather clutch. Beauty prod­ucts, glit­ter­ing jew­elry, shoes, lug­gage, chil­dren’s cloth­ing, sport­ing ac­ces­sories.

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau and his wife, So­phie Gre­goire Trudeau, are reg­u­larly show­ered with lav­ish gifts from world lead­ers and dig­ni­taries, of­ten as a mat­ter of pro­to­col.

But a grow­ing trend among the high-priced of­fer­ings to the prime min­is­te­rial fam­ily are gifts from pri­vate com­pa­nies — cloth­ing and ac­ces­sories from Cana­dian de­sign­ers hop­ing the fa­mous fam­ily will sport their wares in pub­lic.

Canada’s ethics watch­dog, Mario Dion, says all the gifts listed on the prime min­is­ter’s pub­lic gift registry have been cleared by his of­fice and are com­pli­ant with the rules of the Con­flict of In­ter­est Act.

But NDP ethics critic Char­lie An­gus says he be­lieves these cor­po­rate gifts are “prob­lem­atic.”

“What’s con­cern­ing is fash­ion la­bels send­ing clothes to the fam­ily, be­cause this is a fam­ily that is very much in the spot­light, very much in the world of In­sta­gram and there would be a very real ben­e­fit for a com­pany to have them sport­ing their cloth­ing la­bels as gifts,” he said.

“The con­nec­tion to the pe­cu­niary in­ter­ests of those com­pa­nies is clear and di­rect.”

All gifts to pub­lic of­fice hold­ers over $200 must be pub­licly de­clared. Any­thing over $1,000 must be for­feited to the Crown, al­though they can be re­tained if the pub­lic of­fice holder pays the dif­fer­ence.

Cana­dian PRESS files

Justin Trudeau wears P.e.i.-made sun­glasses from Fel­low Earth­lings eye­wear.

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